Where Have All the Airplanes Gone?

The article "McDonnell-Taiwan Deal Criticized," Nov. 27, presents some problems with this deal; but there are more.Don Hanson, spokesman for McDonnell Douglas, is dead wrong when he says in the article, "This is our effort to make ourselves a stronger and more competitive company." This is typical United States corporate management thinking: short-term planning, and sell your soul to make a buck. To implement such a plan will create a chain reaction extremely detrimental to the US aerospace industry. The article quotes Michael Beltramo, a Los Angeles-based aerospace analyst: "Going offshore with some of the production - if in fact it insures sales - might make sense." Wrong. The Boeing Company, the largest airplane manufacturer in the world, is already selling many of its commercial aircraft in the Far East. Those sales are supporting a huge US labor force. They, too, will ultimately be forced to seek out cheaper offshore labor. The action of McDonnell Douglas will also establish commercial aircraft technology in Asia, which will be the beginning of the end of US aerospace dominance in the world. McDonnell Douglas has a serious management problem, and this Taiwan marriage will not fix it. Wayne A. Lawson, Bellevue, Wash.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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